Shingles aftermath.

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello all

I was diagnosed with Shingles on the 17th April and started taking the antiviral tablets straight away - and was given painkillers to take too.

The Painkillers gave me such awful constipation/bloating and pain that I had to stop taking them and my bowels are still not working properly now

I have tried desperately to continue through the pain but it is so bad I end up in floods of tears - I can't carry on like this.

The blisters that I has from my tummy button and all round the left side of my waist to my  centre back. are now nearly gone, my back and tummy are now numb where the scars are, but my side and the lower part of my abdomen are very sore to the touch still and painful, I have had to start taking the painkillers again but only a single dose twice a day to try and get some relief.

Reading on here how long and how bad some people are suffering has frightened the life out of me - will i ever be better, or is this it for me from now on?.

Any tried and tested methods that anyone knows of - I would be really pleased to hear about.

I really hope everyone suffering feels much better soon.


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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry, Barbara. It's tough. You are going to have to learn how to deal with pain, but I find Garbapenten does help as well as Aspercream applied to the site.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying,

      It's been a bad time for me recently, what with being diagnosed Afib in July last year - battling my weight, and now this on top, I do wonder where it will all end.

      I try not to et it get me down, but the indifference of the GPs doesn't help. Thank you for the names of the things that have helped you, I will suggest them when I next get to see a GP.

      All the best,

      Babs x

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  • Posted

    HI Barbara. Sorry that you have to suffer with this most horrible disease. I had shingles last  July and it continued till the end of September and now I have PHN. The pain is better but I suffered more frozen and pins and needles. I am on pregabalin and find that it helps. It does make me drowsy to begin with but soon the body adjusts.  You need to take your pain meds because it helps to  keep your nerves under control and if it is not well-managed you may end up with PHN. You could take a stool softener each time you take a pain medication also taking vitamin C with your pain medication helps your liver and does help with the constipation.  I tried different creams and lotions for the itching and burning and I found aloe vera with lidocaine to be one of the best. Cold compresses help temporarily. Sometimes just moving your body and a different direction also helps to alleviate some of the pain. I take multivitamins  Plus vitamin C, vitamin D 2000, vitamin B 12 and lysine tablets. The main thing for you right now is get lots of rest because you cannot power through this it is a very deadly virus and takes a while to get over it.  Everyone is different in the duration of shingles some get over it in four weeks and some for months and some longer no one can tell you but the more you look after yourself the sooner you will heal. Try not to be under any stress because this is one of the causes that brings shingles on. I hope some of this helps you just keep onto this forum And you will find different help from different people take care and wishing you a speedy recovery
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    • Posted

      Hello Sheila,

      Thank you so much for your response - you have made me feel so much better about it all, having contact with someone who has been through it, and knows how it feels helps a great deal.

      I have been reading as much as I can about the Virus and what helps and doesn't help, and I have decided on an attack plan for my Immune system is advisable.  So I am looking at Vits C - B and D alongside the rest and a healthy diet.  I will take your advice about the taking the painkillers, I hadn't thought about any diverse effects of not taking them, so thank you so much for the insight.

      I have been trying to fight my way through it and carry on as normal, but the pain always gets the better of me and I end up in an emotional heap - so I am going to be more sensible about things from now on - do a bit and rest then do a bit more, concentrate on building myself and my immune system back up,  take my pain killers and treat the constipation.

      Bless you for your insight and advice - you have made a world of difference  to me today.

      Babs x

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  • Posted

    Hello Barbara, 

    Sorry to hear that you have joined the ranks of us shingles sufferers. 

    I concur with Sheila regarding all the vitamins. Nerve blockers can work well, however many people have adverse reaction. But it's always worth a try. For pain that doesn't seem to cause constipation, I use Tramodol or Tramacet. If you increase your fiber while taking these, you will not get constipated and it works well for pain.

    I have reoccurring shingles for the past 3 years and have tried many treatments. For me pure Fracincense oil works wonders to put topically on your rash. I take Lysine daily and other vitamins. 

    Another thing that is working very well is drinking Chaga Tea. I have gone the longest without a breakout since drinking this tea daily. Also CBD oil works very well for nerves and anxiety

    Hope you get well soon, Gayleen

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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara,

    I am sorry you are going through this. Please know you are not alone.

    Please continue with the Opioids, as you need to treat the pain. To treat the constipation, you can buy wheat bran flakes cereal and eat one bowl daily to increase the fiber, plus eat more raw fruit and vegetables.

    Another option is to buy Miralax, generic is cheaper, to treat your constipation. It is non-habit forming.

    The acute pain is excruciating, I know, but you don't want it to turn into the chronic form, or Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN.

    Please try to rest and sleep as you are in the worst part of it now. You cannot power through this horrible viral disease coursing through your entire body.

    In addition, I suggest you use cold compresses or ice packs to the areas.

    Many individuals, including me, find products with Lidocaine or Benzocaine, which numb the nerve endings topically, soothing.

    Solarcaine with Aloe can be helpful, or a cream with Lidocaine, the highest percentage, would be great.

    You might ask your Physician to add Gabapentin to your regimen of medication. It helps with the Neurogenic pain. It can be sedating. It needs to be titrated up.

    Also eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, ie nutritiously.

    I hope this helps you.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past 21 years and twice in my right eye.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hello Merry,

      Thank you so much for your response and all of the wonderful information and advice, I am starting to feel a little more confident about coping now than I was before.

      I will include the Bran Flakes in my diet and plenty of fruit and veg, and start looking after myself properly, and ask the Dr for relevant medication, and hopefully he will listen to me.

      I am so sorry to hear that you suffer so much with this awful virus, it is truly a virus from hell.

      All the very best Merry, and thank you once again, I am so grateful.

      Babs x


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  • Posted

    Im so sorry your going thru this .. I can only hope your suffering doesnt draw out like mine has .. im 28 and ive been dealing with phn for close to 9 years .. sometimes a cold shower helps , other times it doesnt .. 

    your in my thoughts and prayers 


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  • Posted

    As far as I’ve been able to determine in the 18 months since I had shingles, this is definitely NOT a “one size fits all” malady.  Many people have it every few months for years on end whereas others are “one and done.”  Fortunately I haven’t had another attack so far but I do have sensitivity and tenderness on my hand, which is definitely manageable.  I had shingles on my left arm and hand.  It was the worst stabbing pain I’ve ever had and I couldn’t sleep for a few weeks.  I’m thankful that I have not had a recurrence but as you will see from the responses of others, many of them have had prolonged discomfort and/or frequent episodes.


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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara.sorry to read of your troubles with shingles .I take magnesium citrate for my heart rythm as mine is all stress related having gone through hell in last few years .Dues to things like fighting my Husbands cancer for over 12years and loosing him and my Wee Grandson and Motherinlaw etc last year .Anyway without going into a long speel the mag citrate is the best as its the most absorbable of the mags and helps with not onl stress but also rythms of heart as long as youve been checked out properly by Dr.yes stress as another person said is a huge factor for shingles so we need to take care of ourselves sadly for me i didnt as i just kept myself busy so as not to think about what was happening and what has happened in my life so i have PHN .its nasty so listen to peoples advice and Merry is a nurse she has such great advice ..i find also if i get too heated its worse as well.good luck but remember your not alone in this and for me finding this forum has been a life saver .
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    • Posted

      Thank you Shona,

      I am so sorry to hear of the terrible time you have been having, and I send you my heartfelt condolences for your loss.

      I have also had a lot of stress and anxiety over the last 18 months and I am sure this has resulted in this terrible virus.

      I am taking it very seriously after reading what the virus can do to you, and I am doing everything I can now to build up my Immune system and fight back against it.

      I wouldn't wish this virus on my worst enemy, it is so dreadfully painful and I am so exhausted all of the time - so I am trying to get as much rest as I can, eat healthily, up my vitamins and trying to de stress.

      I am off to see the GP after the Bank Holiday, hopefully I will get the medical support I need from him.

      Bless you for caring Shona - take good care of yourself.

      Babs x

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